Pinterest Hidden Image

On today’s podcast I am joined by the very punny host of CNN10, Carl Azuz. With balanced news coverage, wonderful explanations, and a winning host, the 10-minute news show has become a favorite part of our family’s Morning Basket. It’s the way we love to cover current events.

On this podcast Carl and I chat about how he got his start in journalism, how he ended up doing student news, and the process he uses to produce an objective journalism show for his audience. Enjoy!

Pam: This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Everyone. And welcome to episode 82 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy that you’re joining me here today. Well, on today’s episode of the podcast, we have a bit of a celebrity in the Barnhill household. Mr. Carl Azuz from CNN ten is joining me today. This new show is something that we have really enjoyed adding to our morning basket as the kids have gotten older in the past about a year. And I love it because it enables us to find out more about what’s going on in the world around us, and also have some really great meaty conversations about those topics.

So it’s been a wonderful addition to our day. Now, the kids love the variety of news and feature shows that they have on each episode. And they also really, really enjoy the personality of Carl. So it makes it a great win-win for our homeschool. So Carl’s joining me on the show today to talk about how they produce the student news show a little bit about his background and how he got into news,

and then how they meet the challenge of choosing appropriate stories for students and striking a balanced view of the news each and every day. So we’ll get on with this episode of the podcast, right after this word from our sponsor. Your morning basket podcast is brought to you by your morning basket. Plus get the tools you need to put the joy back into your home school.

If you have been wanting to do morning, time in your homeschool, but you’re a little overwhelmed at the idea of which resources to use are which books should you choose. We have done all the hard work for you. Your morning basket plus is how you can get more out of your morning time with less work for mom. In the plus subscription, we have over 42 sets of morning time plans that you can download and are open and go.

We also have live events every month with some of your favorite morning time teachers, event replays, and so much more to add to your morning time. Now we have just released our brand new monthly subscription option up until now. You could only get an annual subscription that’s still available and it’s still your best deal. But if you would like a monthly option to get in and try the subscription out and see what we have available,

you can find more Information about that on the website. So come on over to Pam, click the green, get the tools button and check out the your morning basket plus subscription today. And now on with the podcast, Carla Zeus is the beloved anchor for the CNN 10 new show, which brings a daily news broadcast to classrooms and some homeschools across the country.

The show typically includes three to four news stories, some trivia and a whole lot of energy. Oh, and puns. We have to mention the pons. Carl has also served as the program’s package producer and reporter covering stories from the war in Iraq to the world’s most expensive ice cream Sunday, he earned his bachelor’s degree and telecommunications arts production from the university of Georgia and Carl.

We are so happy that you’re joining us here today. I’m happy to be here and I’m flattered that you called me beloved. I love your intro. That’s a great way to start. Well, you, I know you’re beloved in my home because my kids absolutely love watching CNN 10. And I will tell you, I, I think their favorite part is the puns.

I always tell people they’re part of my punt personality. I mean, what better way to sort of express yourself at the end of the show? It lets me write creatively. It lets me kind of, you know, unleash the beast as far as being goofy, but they’re generally punt offensive. They’re benign people. Aren’t going to get, if you write jokes,

folks will get mad. If you write puns, folks just kind of roll with it, even if they’re groaning. And so that’s why we keep that as part of the show. Oh, that is so funny. And yeah. Okay. So there were a couple of questions that came up about the ponds. First of all, they did wonder, did you write them ahead of time or did you make them up on the spot?

They’re all written ahead of time. And even as I mentioned, even though puns are generally benign, we still want them to be looked at by a copy editor to make sure we’re not inadvertently saying something that someone might be sensitive to. So everything you hear me say on the show is written in advance the puns in general only take me 10 to 15 minutes.

I kind of walk around the house doing ponds. My wife’s like, I can’t take it anymore. I’m like, well, you married into this baby, so let’s keep it going. But you know, that’s, it’s, it’s a really, you know, it’s a creative release. It’s a lot of fun for me. And as I said, it does,

it does show my personality, the fun side of what we’re doing. And it underscores the fact that the news isn’t always serious topics. Sometimes it’s a terrier that can’t stop sneezing. And that gives us a chance to work in some dog gone puns. We love it. We love it. Well, and then the other thing that has been brought up here is there want to know if you would be interested in being in Hamilton because they think the way that you deliver some of those puns at the end of the show,

maybe we should be calling Lin Manuel Miranda and getting you a spot on, on that show. I dunno. Does, does it mean I’d have to learn to sing because we might have a long way to go for that. Okay. Well we’ll, we’ll tell them no, no Broadway for Carl, but No, I’m not. I’m not saying no,

but I’d have some work to do. That’s funny. Okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit about news and specifically kind of how you got started. What led you to a career in news reporting? You know, thinking back as far as I can, I’ve always kind of gravitated toward it. And it was like on two fronts. I remember back in eighth grade,

I took a technology class and we were given a whole bunch of different options of things we could do for that class. And one was designing, you know, so box cars and there, there were so many different options and I gravitated toward, I want to be the guy who’s working the video camera and recording things on tape then to, to, to show other people.

So, you know, I always loved the idea of using a camera to tell a story that was fun for me. It was neat technology, but on the other hand too, you know, I started doing some acting in high school and getting on stage, getting in front of people. It helped me come out of my shell. And so it was really sort of a twofold life plan.

I guess that kind of led me into broadcasting because I have this background where I learned how to write, shoot, produce, and edit pieces behind the scenes. And then on the other hand, I was learning how to project and I was learning how to kind of speak to larger and larger public audiences. And so when I got to the university of Georgia,

I remember at the time we had a family friend who was a news producer for CNN. That’s not how I got into the company, but I remember hearing about it. And this person was a field producer, traveled all over the world, covering all kinds of important stories. And I was like, at that point, I decided that’s really where I need my major to be.

And I though I didn’t major specifically in broadcast news, which university of Georgia didn’t have a good program for. I majored in telecommunications arts production, which was general broadcasting in general. And I loved it because I love the idea of producing a piece of video, whether I’m on it or not, that could eventually be seen by thousands or millions of people.

That’s something about broadcasting. I always thought was just a, so much fun and very gratifying. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it’s funny to hear you talk about kind of this passion that you had growing up and talking about the tape that you take your, the videos on. I mean really for kids these days, the ability to do that kind of thing on their own,

it’s so much easier. They have a phone in their hand that can record and they could be doing news stories all over their neighborhood, Which is why I tell them they’ve got no excuse when it comes to producing good content because you’re right. They have, they have a video camera in their pocket and it shoots an HD that’s broadcast quality video. And so when I ever,

I meet with students who are aspiring broadcasters or aspiring, you know, singers, performers, anything that involves being in front of a camera, I always tell them, look, you’ve got it in your pocket. Practice, get comfortable in front of it. You’ve got a tool that used to take a team of people to operate in terms of the shooting and the editing and everything else,

but on a smaller scale that winds up looking pretty good in terms of video quality, you can do all of this now on a smartphone and it gives them a great head start. If they’re thinking about a career in broadcasting Oh, totally. And a platform to put it out there. I mean, back in the day, you would have had to take that tape home and pop it in some kind of device and maybe five or six people huddle around a little TV to watch it.

That’s that’s true. And you know, I’m actually kind of grateful that some of the stuff I shot in college would have been difficult to share with others because it’s terribly embarrassing. It’s not because I was badly behaved it’s just because it was bad video. And if it had been so easy to just slap that up on YouTube, back in those days, it could have led to trouble.

Okay. So caution as you start producing. Absolutely. Yeah. Okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit about you. I mean, really you’ve done the gamut of, of different things at CNN, as far as reporting and kind of being a traveling correspondent and producing different shows and things like that. What led you to do student news? Specifically?

Both of my parents were public school teachers. And so I always had a connection to that audience when I started shortly before I started writing CNN student news, which is what CNN 10 used to be known at. As you know, I started speaking on behalf of the network to let’s say my mom’s class. And they would ask me questions about working at CNN.

And what does it like and what are you getting to do? What’s it like to work at a giant TV studio? So when I started writing CNN student news, it was a really good fit for me because I had two parents in education and we had this approach that was not to talk down to students. That’s never something we wanted to do. It was always to explain to folks who might not normally watch the news,

what was happening in the news. And so that’s really kind of how I developed my voice as first, a student reporter. And then it gave me the opportunities to do many other facets of reporting for the network. But I love the fact that, you know, at the time when I started CNN student news, it was based in classrooms. I had a connection to those classrooms and as the audience started to develop,

when I started to get on camera and started to sort of get that interaction through social media and through people writing email and everything, I love the energy of the audience brings me because they’re really zoomed into what’s going on. They’re very honest. If I get a haircut, I hear about it, whether it’s good or bad, you know, if I’m greasy one day,

I’m going to be told about it. It’s a lot of fun though, to hear from an audience that’s that engaged and that I think they appreciate the authenticity of the show. You know, if you try to act like something, especially young people, they know when you’re faking it because they’ve seen their friends act, the fool trying to be something cooler than they think they are.

And so, you know, for me, it allows me to be authentic with this younger audience and with this audience, that’s, that’s very large and to kind of feed off the energy and enthusiasm that they bring, Oh, I love it. And I love that idea that, you know, you’re just, you’re doing the news in such a way for an audience that doesn’t normally consume it.

They’re not your normal news consumers until of course they get hooked into your show. And then it becomes a bit of a, an obsession. They have to watch it every day and have to watch multiple, multiple episodes a day, CNN, and 10. You knew I was going to give us a plus God to give you a plug. We’ll get another one in there.

Why do you think it’s important for this particular audience to get kind of tapped into current events? I think on two fronts, it helps. I mean, on the one hand, you know, if you want to make a positive difference in the world, it helps to know a little bit about what’s happening in it. That’s one benefit. But the other benefit too,

I think is social you. One of the greatest compliments we regularly receive is from parents who tell us their students can now converse about current events at the dinner table, that’s music to our ears. And so if you know these people who are watching our show, young people, there are some folks in the military, there are young millennials looking for just sort of a nuts and bolts overview of what’s going on.

And in a nonpartisan way, you know, they’re developing an awareness that allows them to simply communicate with other folks, whether they’re from the U S or other countries, to have a knowledge of current events, I think really broadens people socially because there’s, there’s always something you can discuss with someone else. And if that’s at the grocery store, the dinner table with your parents,

or later on down the road in a boardroom meeting, whatever it is to have an objective idea of what’s going on in the world, I think really helps you communicate with the other people who were in it. Yeah. Yeah. I think so too. And you’re right. Those, one of the best things about having teenagers is just we can have these great conversations now with each other.

And so I think it’s my favorite stage other than the snugly baby stage. This is totally my favorite. We’re doing those conversations back and forth. And a lot of times it is about something that we watched on the new show that day. And I love it. And that’s, You know, that’s why it’s so important for us on our show to be completely objective because we realize,

you know, there, there are a lot of homeschool parents they’re growing by leaps and bounds, both in number and also in, in those who, who use our show, who view our show. And obviously, I mean, the show was intended back in 1989 when it launched for middle and high schools and that composes the core of our audience today.

And so, because we are viewed by a wide age, age range of people though, it’s a younger age range. And also because we’re viewed in so many different places, we want to make sure we are being completely objective that’s, what’s paramount on CNN 10. That’s kind of our secret sauce is to not appear like we’re partisan or leaning one way or another.

So that folks trust us no matter where they’re from, where they’re watching or what age group they’re using the show for. Oh, I love that. And that was kind of my next question, because you know, the news can be so polarizing. How do you strike that balance and stay objective like that, Especially now with folks. So emotional it’s,

it’s really grown in importance to us to try as much as possible to be above reproach. A friend of mine asked me once. She’s like, well, how do you avoid being one side of the news? I’m like, that’s easy. Just tell the other one. But one lesson I learned early on when I was starting as a journalist and starting as a professional writer was yes,

it’s good to make sure every story is balanced, but also make sure it’s weighted the same. So if I spend a minute and a half telling you why border collies are the best dogs, and then I spend 20 seconds saying, well, chihuahuas are pretty good too. You could say the story has some balance in it. And that I’m not just promoting one over the other,

but it’s not weighted the same. You have a minute and 20 seconds on one and you know, a shorter time on the other. So when it comes to how we produce our show, I want to make sure that I’m covering, you know, the different viewpoints as evenly as I can. Not just making sure that they’re included, but making sure if I can get three points on one side and three points on the other that’s ideal.

It’s not always possible. I’m not going to say we’re perfect at it. But it certainly, my goal is to try to be as objective as possible, because I think, especially when it comes to covering politics, a student once asked me in the CNN center, food court, you know, well, which way do you lean democratic or Republican? And I was like,

I can’t answer that, but which way do you think? And he’s like, I’ve been trying to figure it out all year. And I can’t tell. And I was like, perfect. That’s exactly where I want to be. Yes, I am doing my job if you can’t tell. So yeah, very Much though. You’re exactly right. Yeah.

Well, okay. So part of, kind of a balance in the news is not just how you report things, but also what you report and you’re right. You are dealing with not only students, but younger and younger students, especially in the homeschool community. There are a of challenging things going on in the world. So how do you choose stories that are appropriate for young people without just completely avoiding some things that might be harder,

but are genuinely important? Well, you know, we don’t want to shy away from anything. I mean, if there’s a major story happening, that’s, you know, part of the national conversation, even if it’s a story, some people might be sensitive to, we don’t want to shy away from it. But I like to think that our show is about as family-friendly as the news allows because it has that history and that core audience that’s in middle and high school.

We want to make sure that we’re not being too graphic in our descriptions. We are not, you know, being too graphic in the images we show. I think that, you know, when it comes to stories like shooting and terrorist attacks and things like that, you can convey what happen through a picture of maybe bullet holes through glass without actually showing a body in the street.

And so that’s, that’s kind of where, you know, we’ll, we’ll try to strike a balance. We don’t want to, as I said, shy away from anything, that’s part of the national conversation, but if something’s localized and it’s making news because it’s salacious, it’s not usually for us. We really want to keep our stories and, and you know,

our, our bird’s eye view, very macro so to speak. But as far as how the stories are selected, our producer starts working hours before I even wake up. I mean, what he’s looking for is not just what’s being covered by us media. He’s looking yes. Across that spectrum, CNN, MSNBC, Fox news, ABC, NBC, CBS.

But we’re also looking beyond that. What, what what’s going on in Australia, what is the BBC covering what’s happening in Europe? What’s happening in Africa, the middle East far East. I mean, all of these different regions, we want to find out what’s happening. What, how can we explain this to people? Especially if it’s something that’s going on in a small country like Israel,

but has massive ripple effects across the world. We want to make sure that we are covering those topics and covering up why they’re significant. That’s very important for us. I love it. Well, let’s talk a little bit about how you do put the new show together. W we have often wondered that here at my house. So is this like a same day affair?

Is it an early in the morning kind of thing? I mean, we’re talking about a 10 minute news show, but it certainly takes more than 10 minutes. Yeah. It would be. Some people think I only work 10 minutes a day. I’m like, I wish that would be a sweet, good to, to, to have that. But no,

I mean, I tell people because I write the show as well as anchor it. In fact, most of my job is writing. I tell people the rule of thumb that for every minute you hear me talking, I’ve spent about an hour researching writing and trying to find video some stories, especially if they’re politically sensitive, we’ll take more time to make sure we’re,

we’re walking that straight and narrow path of leaning to one side or the other. And they could take a while. Then there are other major stories that happen where if it’s a large weather event, for instance, those might be faster to write because you know, you’re explaining science and statistics and how large was the hurricane when it hit. And was this a populated area versus an unpopulated area.

Those stories can come faster, but the rule of thumb is for every minute you hear me talk, I’ve spent an hour researching and writing, getting in front of the camera at work at CNN in the studio. It’s usually about 10 minutes as far as, you know, my part, my delivery and everything I need to do on camera for the show.

But, you know, with the advent of COVID and, and folks being sent home, our workloads increased on CNN 10. I’m not complaining about it, but, you know, we find ourselves in a position of not only writing we’re, we’re writing from a laptop with one monitor, as opposed to a larger, more powerful desktop with two where I’m not as fast at home,

we have to shoot the show from my house. I have to send it electronically to an editor. So there are definitely more steps involved. And I would say that our team, we on most days can get the show done in eight hour shifts, but it’s not always the same eight hour shifts. So my producer might be up early finding out what’s going on in the world,

building the show. And then the producer might check in later after I’ve had a chance to write it and put that together. And our editors putting things together throughout the day, but the timing is anything but hard and fast in the COVID era. And of course, tonight being the first of three presidential debates, we’re going to be up late. Okay.

And it is the same day filming, right? You, you film it or like in the morning, and then it goes out the same day. It hits the website and YouTube and things like that. Usually it’s produced the night before you see it. So usually it’ll be the evening before the show airs. So Tuesday’s show for instance, will have been produced Monday night.

And part of the reason we do that is because we’re utilized pretty extensively in Japan and South Korea and being across the international Dateline. We want them to have Thursday show available on Thursday. And so that for us often means getting it done on Wednesday night. Oh, wow. So yeah, your, your work day kind of shifts into the evening time for a guy who’s putting up a morning news show.

It can, yes, it can. It’s always, it’s always done in advance and you know, one advantage for us is we’re not a breaking news show. We’re an explainer show. So if something major happens, let’s say Tuesday night at, you know, midnight Eastern time, it will be featured on Wednesday’s show. We’ll have another day to, to work at it,

to explain it, to get more information. But you know, for us, we’re not trying to break the most recent story that happened. We’re trying to explain and hit all the important points that happen. And that has its advantages as when it comes to breaking political stories. Because so often if something happens in the political sphere, you’ll hear from one side maybe immediately,

and it might be a few hours before the other side has a response, not being a breaking news show gives us a chance to wait until we hear from everyone and present their views on it as evenly as we can. So sometimes that works to our advantage. Oh, I would say so. Well, you mentioned that you guys were an explainer show,

so let’s talk a little bit when you’re putting together a new segment, whether it be a political news segment or a, whether a new segment you guys recently reported on hurricane Sally, or, you know, even the world’s most expensive sundae, what are your goals when you put together a segment? I would say to break it down and explain it clearly for somebody who might not be watching it anywhere else.

I mean, those are my priorities. A friend of mine once asked me, you know, do I assume that our audience has a certain level of knowledge? Like is our audience smarter than a fifth grader kind of question? And I said, you know, all I assume about our audiences that maybe they’re not watching the news in another place. So when I sit down to write a story or explain a story,

whether it’s, you know, a political news event or if it’s just a business merger or if it is that world’s most expensive sundae, I kind of think, what do you need to know to understand why this is important? And that involves a lot more background information. It might involve history might involve more research than the average newscast has, because if the average newscast is for somebody who may assume as watched,

you know, the day before, or is up on a lot of the latest current events, ours is going to be a lot more explanatory. And that’s because it’s just so important for me to say, look, if you haven’t seen the news, here’s XYZ, what you need to understand to see why this is important. Here’s, what’s new about it and here’s what’s next.

And if I can hit all of those points, I think I love it. You know, it’s funny we watch your show during morning time. And I had gotten a curriculum all about the presidential election and just, you know, kind of the different pieces. What are the primaries? What are the conventions? What are the debates? And this summer,

we were reading all about the conventions right before they happened. And I was just thought I was so smart. I was going to read up on all this stuff. And then the day before the convention started, we watched CNN 10. And you explained in like five minutes, what it taken me 20 minutes to read. And I’m like, man, if I had just waited for Carl,

he would have done the whole thing for me. Well, that’s a great compliment, Pam. So thank you so much for saying that. I would say, you know, a lot of times it’s out of necessity. I might only have two to five minutes to explain a story. And so we’ve gotten to where our team is pretty agile and pretty skilled at trying to boil down what are the main points here?

I mean, obviously our 10 minutes show is not going to go into the level of depth that you’re going see in prime time news coverage on any network. But as far as a bird’s eye view goes, you know, if we can find these, these news wires and call people if necessary and find out what are the main points wouldn’t folks need to understand,

to understand how conventions happen, why they’re important, what the official goals are in terms of announcing the nominee in terms of establishing the party platform. That’s what we’re going to aim to do. And I, again, I do take it as a compliment that you thought we did that well. Yeah. If I could just get like in advance, what you’re going to be covering,

then I could totally shift my curriculum. Like I don’t need to do that one. Yeah. The news letter, that’ll tell you the night before what’s planned for the next day’s show. But as far as, you know, predicting what we’ll be covering in two weeks, I honestly have no idea it ain’t happened yet. So you, you are making decisions within the 24 hour news cycle before you plan a show.

Sometimes when we know something’s coming, we can plan well in advance. So for instance, today we’re working on a show that’s really centered around the first presidential debate, but there are certain things that we can’t finalize yet. Obviously we have to wait for it to happen, see what the candidates say, and then tailor our broadcast to that. And of course,

you know, we want to be able to, and we knew something’s happening in advance. We want to be able to give the, the players so to speak an opportunity to, you know, if things change, if there are new topics that come up, if they want to really go hard on, on just one topic for longer than the plan,

15 minutes, we want to be, you know, flexible enough to try to accommodate that in terms of how we report it. But you know, a lot of times, yeah, we have to be flexible. As, you know, as I said, we’re not a breaking news show, but I do remember the day we found out when the Notre Dame cathedral was burning,

that obviously wasn’t in the show, it was a major breaking story. We’ve worked it in and as more details came out, it caused us to be later, of course, but we did want to make sure that at least we gave an overview of what was happening, why that was so significant. And then it also opened the door for us later on that week to come back to it and to really explain everything that we’ve learned since then.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, you mentioned a little bit about how the pandemic has kind of affected your production of the show. Have there been challenges in working from home? Yes. I mean, it’s, it’s a transition on the one hand, you know, being in the Atlanta area, I don’t think anybody’s going to miss that commute. So I mean,

that’s, that’s always nice to not have to drive in, but again, it worked there, there are a lot of people who do a lot of things for you. I mean, I know that there’s a hair and makeup department that, you know, if I got something crazy going on on top of my head, they contain it they’re wizards. And then when it comes down to being able to actually record the show,

there are technical directors, directors, there are people who shade the camera people to set up, you have professional lighting. It looks really, really good. And there are a lot of folks to assist us in a lot of people we work with, you know, for every person you see in front of the camera and broadcasting, there are hundreds of folks behind the scenes who are really busting it to make the product happen and to make it look good.

And so we obviously have fewer people we can work with on a daily basis. And that does create some new challenges, especially for me because I’m not a videographer. The lessons I learned back in eighth grade were, were kind of long forgotten. And so thankfully my wife is also a professional photographer. She has some professional lighting equipment. It’s a wonderful advantage and she’s able to help with camera and,

you know, in terms of how I’m shaded, you know, she’s able to assist with all of that. So I think that’s a unique blessing. I don’t work with a lot of other people who, you know, have spouses at home with photography or TV backgrounds. And so I’m really grateful for that, but it has created a bunch of challenges.

One thing though, that was so important to our audience, Pam, when everything started happening in March early March, you started seeing closures shut down students at home. So many teachers and parents were getting in touch with us on social media and saying, please tell us, you’re planning to continue the show we always were. We always kind of have had this,

you know, the show must go on kind of mentality to it, but to hear from so many folks about how the show had increased in importance for students watching from home teachers, being able to send it home as, as curriculum, that was something that, that really inspired us to keep it going despite the increased workload. Oh yeah, definitely. I could,

I could feed that because, you know, first of all, it just gives students a way to get some, some news about what is going on out there. But it’s also some providing some normalcy for a lot of kids as well. This was something they were used to seeing in the classroom. And now they’re able to, to bring it home,

You hit the nail on the head with that word normalcy. In fact, I wrote an article for about that at the beginning of the summer. So many people who were watching our show, utilizing our show in the classroom and then parents who, you know, they might not have known that it was part of their student’s school day were telling us,

thanking us, telling us this is something normal, something they’re used to that in the fact that they saw that I was in a different location. I think that helped too because they could directly see that, you know, look I’ve been impacted by the thing as well. I’m not going into the office. We’re having to really adjust our schedules and adjust our,

you know, our approach in terms of everything technical that happens behind the scenes. So there was a sort of all in this together feeling, I think among many members of our audience, but just as you said, I mean, I think it gave the students a sense of normalcy. And even though there were some mornings where I’m hunched over the computer in a cold basement,

it gave me some normalcy to, because this is a major event that has affected so many people in the world at once. It’s very, very unique in that regard and that so many people are directly experiencing something different in life because of it. And so for us to be able to put that together and, and bring that each day report on something new,

I think it benefited us as well as our audience. Yeah. Yeah. I think the, the view here was like, Hey, he’s on his couch too. We were All on our couch. Oh, goodness. Well, were you aware that you had a big following in the homeschool community? We had seen growth in that area. I didn’t know how large it is.

I know that our audience estimates put our daily domestic viewership in the millions, but to hear, we’ve heard from a lot of folks in the special needs community. There are a lot of programs where folks are using it. It’s special needs programs inside school. Sometimes for students who’ve graduated school and they tell us that, you know, the 10 minute format is perfect because it’s compact and it fits well into a daily schedule.

And then to hear from folks in the homeschool community we had heard from viewers. I remember, you know, I think we dedicated a shout out to a homeschool group. I want to say eight years ago. So we knew we had some viewers in that regard, but certainly as the homeschool community has expanded, thankfully our viewership in that community has expanded as well.

And it’s something I’m very grateful for. Yeah. Well, let’s talk a little bit more about homeschoolers who might be interested in pursuing a career in news or media. What kind of words of wisdom would you have for them? Oh, it is a pay your dues profession. I’ve always said you pay your dues, then you make the news. It’s,

you know, there are a lot of people, especially folks who want to be on camera who think I’ll get a college degree and I’ll start out, you know, maybe local at call it $50,000 a year and then I’ll get promoted and I’ll be making twice that. And there’ll be a millionaire. It’s I think in any facet of broadcasting, regardless of your education,

you are going to start out, you know, as I did, which is handing scripts to people, my very first job in news, I spent four hours a day operating a teleprompter and four hours a day next to two printers. And when the scripts printed, I handed hard copies to a director and to a producer, but my foot was in the door.

I was able to see from the control room, how news broadcasts were being put together, what happened in breaking news, how an executive producer was able to get on the horn with people in any corner of the planet and wake them up and tell them there’s an earthquake in a region nearby. You’re on a plane, you’ll be reporting for us in an hour.

It was a very exciting environment to be in. So I would say that if you or you have a child who has a passion for telling people what happens in the world, whether it’s keeping a diary or a journal on a small scale, that’s what we do on a larger scale every day. And if you have a passion for telling large groups of people about something that’s occurring in the world,

it could be a field that’s right for you. But as I said, it’s very much a paper produced profession. You don’t expect to make a lot of money right out of college. My first job in news, less than $21,000 a year. And, but I was promoted within four months and then I was promoted again within four months of that. So there are opportunities,

there are opportunities now, even more so in digital media with so many different organizations, doing news, doing features are doing, you know, energy or stories online. One thing that’s so valuable in journalism is to be multi-skilled, don’t just learn one thing. If you want to be on camera, learn how to operate the camera too. It’s the camera operating job that might get your foot in the door,

leading to the on-camera job you want for me? I write everything I say for the show. I don’t believe that if my only skill was anchoring news on camera, I don’t believe that I’d be doing what I’m doing, because what makes me more marketable and gives me at least some measure of job security is the fact that I can write it as well.

And you know, that acting background I told you about that comes into play too, because at home I don’t have a teleprompter. So whenever you see me on camera talking to a camera, it’s from memory, I have to memorize those scripts and I want to make sure I’m getting them right. Word for word, especially if we’re reporting on a sensitive topic.

So as not to offend or not to convey that I’m leaning one side or another. So, I mean, really having a broad skill set can help you get and keep a job in broadcasting. So lots of different skills, not just honing in on one thing. And as a mother who teaches writing to her children, I’ve heard you say writing a number of different times.

Yes. You know, I tell people that too. I mean like there, there is a little bit it’s cross-training whether you enjoy for me, you know, for a while I wanted to be a short story writer. I wanted to be a playwright. And that helps me, especially when it comes to the more creative tenet of 10 segments we do.

If there’s, you know, a historic segment where you can wax a little bit poetic, I like to kind of bring that in news writing may not be romantic or poetic in many senses, but you’re still explaining to people what’s going on. And so I always tell like, you know, aspiring writers, whether it’s for news or, or novels, make sure that that you’re writing something because any form is cross-training and can improve the kind of writing you want to do.

Yeah. Yeah. So, so important writing skills. We’re just going to say it one more time for all those homeschoolers out there. Absolutely. I would not be doing what I’m doing. I said if I could not write and communicate information, Love it. Well, Carl, thank you so much for coming on here today and tell everybody where they can find you online.

Thank you, Pam CNN 10 is always and we’re also on YouTube at 10. And if you subscribe to that channel, it’ll alert you whenever we have a new show that posts, but those are two places. I also think there may be a podcast on iTunes as well. So there are a few different places you can get the show, but you know,

we always welcome you. If you’re a parent with younger children, I strongly suggest you preview each 10 minute show first because there are some heavy topics that come up in the news and that we do cover. But you know, for all of our viewers all over the world, we welcome you. Thank you, Pam. We’re grateful for what you’re doing on the homeschool front,

making so many more people comfortable to take this on at home and to really have the flexibility to do that with their kids. So thank you and God bless. Thank you. And there you have it. Now, if you would like to visit the show notes for this episode of the podcast, we’ve linked for you there, the CNN 10 website YouTube channel,

and also the audio podcasts that Carl spoke about as well. You can find forward slash Y M B 82. Now we’ll be back again in a couple of weeks with another great interview. We’re going to have Tish oxen rider on talking all about her new book shadow in light, a journey into advent. This was a really fun conversation, all about how we can slow down during the holiday season by celebrating the age old tradition of advent in the liturgical calendar.

And we’ll be back with that a couple of weeks until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

Key Ideas from Carl Azuz

  • Having a working knowledge of what’s going on in the world is critical to making a positive difference in it. For this reason, giving students access to age-appropriate news is a valuable part of a child’s education.
  • Carl Azuz discusses the goals for a news segment at CNN 10. Beginning with the assumption that those who watch are not getting their news from any other source, Carl builds a show that provides all necessary information, including historical, that may help the viewer to understand the story. He also discusses how the team works together to produce a show, the timeline they work with, and how puns keep the show fun while providing an outlet for his creativity.
  • For those who are interested in going into a career in the news Carl shares some advice including the importance of developing a wide range of skills to make yourself more marketable. He calls it a “pay your dues” profession and discusses his journey to hosting a news show.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • 3:24 meet Carl Azuz
  • 6:28 Carl’s start in the news
  • 10:20 why Carl loves student news
  • 13:10 the importance of current events for students
  • 15:45 balancing polarizing topics
  • 17:34 choosing appropriate news stories for students
  • 20:20 Carl describes putting together a CNN 10 show
  • 24:10 goals for a CNN 10 news segment
  • 29:02 working from home in the age of COVID
  • 34:19 wisdom for students who are interested in a career in news or media

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

Thanks for Your Reviews